The Main UCL Project Plan

Project Title Building the digital city Theme Exploring and Understanding
Project Start Month 4 Project Duration 32 months

This project is a natural complement to the work on the physical city in that it will consider the setting where people in a virtual representation of a large scale urban environment are looking out to the physical world: planning their interactions with the physical world, or enjoying the virtual representation of the physical world for its own sake, or inhabiting the virtual because it is impractical to visit the real. The vision here is of a living virtual urban environment with dynamic display and interaction dependent on live feeds from the corresponding real environment. It will take as its starting point previous work at UCL on the construction of a model of much of London. There are several goals in this project. The first is real-time interactive display of the model. The second is improvement of photo-realistic display. The model is, of course, that of a real city. However, the model is currently static, representing the buildings and roads only. It does not represent the life of the city, the transport situation, the weather, and facilities at any moment in time. The goal is to make the model persistent, to take real-time feeds and update the model to reflect the changing state of the environment. A further goal is to allow people immersed in the model to carry out functions that are relevant to their activities in every day life: planning a journey, visiting a hotel and inspecting its facilities, meeting other people in virtual situ prior to really meeting them there, and so on. The model will be populated by agents to act as guides through the system, and present the interconnections between the real and the virtual that will be based on a common information model explored through the support for an artifact collection. The results of this work will feed back into embedded devices research challenges

Partner Site Responsibilities Resources
UCL Development of and presentation of the digital city UCL CAVE
Southampton Exploration of agents and the development of information model. N/A
Nottingham Exploration of mixed reality boundaries with the digital city Mixed Reality Lab
Month 12 Initial demonstration of the digital city demonstrating some live media links
Month 24 Population of the digital city with a large number of users and agents
Month 36 Assessment of the digital city in use and experience through different forms of display

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